I felt a desperate sense of loss as I watched yesterday’s episode of Baaghi. Here was a woman; she could have been anyone of us, a woman with dreams in her eyes and ambitions in her dreams. Her fault was to continue flying with her hopes when the world tried to shoot them down. Her flaw was to trust the people around her, even when they had done nothing to deserve that trust.
In this episode, Fauzia Batool faces her family after the life she leads is exposed on national television, making headlines that resonate in her hometown and in her parents’ home. They are devastated. She has lied to them. She has brought shame to her brothers, she has cost her sister her potential marriage and she has humiliated them in front of the world.
Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t take them long to forgive her when they realize that she is more than capable of paying their bills because of the very life she lives. And they have their eyes on more. The idea of shame, as we know exists in this part of the world, is directly proportional to economics and not morality. The idea of a man’s honor, that ironically lies in a woman’s body, is so easily put on the back burner when there are riches to be enjoyed.
Fauzia’s parents are perhaps the only ones defending and protecting her sincerely; her brothers are like scavengers, vultures circling over her, happy to pick on her remains. Her sister in law wants to know how much money, jewelry and property she has managed to amass; her children surely have a right to their aunt’s fortunes. It’s a very dismal situation, further highlighted by the fact that she has found happiness with the heroic Sheheryar and his mom, who accept and love her for who she is. Dis such a man exist in Qandeel’s life? I would love to know. She is planning her wedding when she leaves to spend Eid with her family; we know she won’t return. Part of me wishes that the writer would change the ending to make it more palatable but history cannot rewrite itself; therefore, the desperate sense of loss. We know that tragedy is about to strike.
This was an extremely emotional episode and as I watched Saba Qamar’s range of emotions, delivered so effortlessly, I also felt a sense of pride for the actress who had not only agreed to characterize and hence immortalize this incredibly complex character but had done it with pride and dignity. It would not be wrong to say that Saba has actually changed the way people feel about Qandeel Baloch. She has played an important role in humanizing a woman that society demonized to its worst capacity.
I remember the time when Qandeel Baloch was murdered in the name of honour; so many men and women actually rejoiced her brutal end; “She deserved it,” they rabidly wrote on their social media accounts. I don’t think anyone who has followed Baaghi would feel that way today, or at least I hope they don’t.